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Global Student Experience

FAQs for Exchange Students

Degree-seeking students please consult these FAQs


Question Answer
Is accommodation provided by UZH? There is a limited number of rooms reserved for UZH students which are managed by the ETH/UZH Housing Office. Exchange students will receive an application link from Global Student Experience around mid-May/beginning of June (for the fall semester) and end of October/beginning of November (for the spring semester). The Housing Office is in charge of allocating rooms. Please note that we cannot guarantee that you will be allocated a room, and students are therefore encouraged to research accommodation individually as well.
Can I apply to UZH as an exchange student even if there is no exchange agreement with my home university? Yes, if you meet certain criteria. Please find more information on the page Regular Visiting Students


Question Answer
Where can I find all the courses offered by UZH? In the UZH online course catalogue
How many ECTS should I take? We recommend taking between 20 and a maximum of 30 ECTS per semester, but please check with your home university if they have any specific requirements.
Can I take courses outside of my field of study? The majority of your courses must be from the same field of study you are enrolled in at your home university. However, if you have the required prerequisites, you are allowed to choose one or two courses from a different field.  
Can I take ETH courses?

You can book at most two ETH courses, however bear in mind that these may count for no more than one third of your overall ECTS points. Please be aware that the exams at ETH Zurich take place later than at UZH, namely in August (spring semester) and February (fall semester), which might cause problems for students who cannot stay in Zurich that long. Please keep in mind that you will be registered at ETH as an UZH student and, therefore, not have the same privileges as an ETH exchange student. Also, as ETH is a different university, we cannot offer any administrative support in regard to these courses. Due to these restrictions we recommend that students stick to booking UZH courses.

Important: Regular Visiting Students may not take ETH courses.

What happens if I fail an exam? If you fail a course you will not receive the ECTS for the module and it will be marked as not successful on your transcript of records. 
Do I need to be proficient in German to attend certain courses? Students who intend to take courses in German or English Literature and Linguistics must submit proof of proficiency at level C1 as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in the respective language. For all other students, UZH recommends a minimum level of B2 in the language of instruction.
How do I book modules?

You can find instructions here.

Factsheet Course Catalogue (PDF, 313 KB)

Application Process

Question Answer
How do I fill out an online application for my exchange stay at UZH on Mobility Online? How to Video Tutorial: Application Process on Mobility Online
I was nominated for two semesters but the dates on Mobility Online do not correspond with this, even though I indicated this in my application.  Even though you indicated a stay of two semesters, Mobility Online saves your application with standard values. Once we process your application we will change the dates manually. 
I'm about to complete my exchange application and I just realized that my passport has expired. I will not be able to get an appointment to renew my passport before the application deadline. What do I do? In order to complete your application, you can upload a copy of your old passport on Mobility Online. As soon as you have received your new passport, please send us a copy by email. Please note that in case you need a visa, we will only be able to start the application process with a valid document.
When will I know whether I have been accepted or not? For the fall semester you will be informed in May, for the spring semester you will be infomed in November.

What is a tentative/definite study plan and why must I submit this twice?

Please note: this does not apply to SEMP-students


A tentative study plan must be submitted in your application and serves to identify potential courses in the semester you are applying for, and whether these are available to exchange students. For this, please provisionally consult the courses offered in previous semesters, respectively. The definite study plan is handed in before the semester begins and includes courses offered during the semester you will spend at UZH. This reflects your final choice of courses that you will book.

Who signs my study plans? 
What do I do with my fully signed study plans?
Your study plan needs to be signed by the relevant  UZH departmental coordinator(s) in charge of your subject/field of study. Please upload your study plan complete with all the required signatures to Mobility Online.


Question Answer

How do I apply for the SEMP grant?

Please note: this only applies to SEMP-students

By applying for an exchange through the SEMP-Programme you automatically apply for this grant. A separate application is not necessary.

When will I receive my SEMP grant?

Please note: this only applies to SEMP-students

Your SEMP grant will be handed out to you cash at the beginning of the semester.
Can I apply for the Heyning-Roelli Foundation scholarship before receiving the acceptance letter?

Yes. However, you do need to inform them that you will send it to them as soon as you receive it.

Heyning-Roelli Foundation

During Your Exchange

Question Answer

Who signs my Learning Agreement? 
What do I do with my fully signed Learning Agreement?

Please note: this only applies to SEMP-students

Your Learning Agreement needs to be signed by you, your home university and the the respective UZH departmental coordinator(s) in charge of your subject/field of study. Please upload your Learning Agreement complete with all the required signatures to Mobility Online.
How do I book language courses? You can book language courses on the website of the Language Centre. Places are limited and allocated upon entry of registration.
When do the exams take place?

The exam dates vary from faculty to faculty; please consult your departmental coordinator(s).

Further information can also be found on selected faculty websites:

Faculty of Law

Faculty of Science

Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics

Can I work while studying? Yes, under certain circumstances. Please find more information here.

Completion of your Exchange

Question Answer
Where and when can I download my transcript of records?

Transcript of Records

How To Video Tutorial: Downloading your Transcript

Can you send an official transcript of records to my university?

Your transcript is available for download from the UZH Student Portal. Should your home university not accept transcripts sent directly from students, we can forward these to your home university in exceptional cases, and as long as we have your authorization to do so (for data security reasons you must send us your transcript beforehand). Your home university also has the option of verifying your transcript.

Where can I get my certificate of attendance signed? Please make an appointment with us or send us the document of your home university by email to have it signed. 
Is there something I should do before leaving Switzerland? Before Leaving Switzerland


Further information on your stay at UZH can be found under the heading Organizational and Practical Matters

Weiterführende Informationen

Important Addresses During Your Studies

Student Administration Office (central student administration, transcript of records etc.) 

IT Service Desk

You will receive information and advice on UZH technical services at the IT Service Desk.